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Travel Guard Insurance Trap

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We have our cruises covered with trip Cancellation & Trip interruption through our credit card company ,to save money . The credit card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card & it also takes 1st position for rental car damages .When you first open the credit card there is a incentive to spend $4000 in the first 90 days & get a $500 rebate or if booking any travel with Chase that $500 gets a 25% bonus to bring it to $625 Chase Travel Dollars:D

 

when over 70 insurance can be expensive when you buy a package plan .Thus ,we searched for mainly medical & medical evacuation insurance to cover our land /cruise trips inclusive

 

First be aware that Travel guard only Takes 2nd position for both medical & medical evacuation .you must go through any other insurance first & then if denial you can submit to Travel Guard your claim along with denial from your own medical plan

 

Very Important is that we paid $115 for a Silver Plan where the medical & medical evacuation can be adjusted upward for additional premium . In our case we insured for $15000 medical each & $150000 medical evacuation each for this premium with a little of baggage insurance .Our trip was to start 3/16/19 & end 4/13/19 . We decided after to include a 2nd cruise from Florida ;which made the start date March 15 ,2019 & then the trip April 16 ,2019 . Because we went over 30 days by 4 days Travel guard (AIG) wants a $76 up charge .from $115 to $191 .00 . Imo that is a pretty heavy up charge for just 4 extra days .:(

 

The moral of this story is first be aware that Travel guard only is 2nd position & secondly get a quote for the entire trip & don't alter the trip dates

 

From my perspective ( We will be 80 each at trip time ) we will now search for a different insurance company who is 1st position & doesn't add such high fees for several extra days :rolleyes:

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I have bought Travel Guard Gold and Platinum plans ... and the medical coverage is primary.

 

Perhaps it depends on your state's insurance regulators, or msybe it's the Silver plan?

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Forums mobile app

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I am not going to bash Travel Guard because they are simply another insurance outfit that offers various plans. However, $15,000 of travel medical is something we would not recommend. That is not nearly enough medical insurance for a young person much less an older citizen. One can easily burn through that much insurance in 1 or 2 days of a major medical situation. The irony is that when you have a serious medical problem it is likely that you cannot even be evacuated and will find yourself in a foreign hospital that you will have to pay before discharge.

 

As to the issue of secondary vs primary (we have posted about this elsewhere) there is no question that Primary coverage is more desirable from a logistic point of view. However, you will pay more money for a comparable primary policy and in the final analysis you are just playing around with the order of claims processing/payment rather then your coverage. All that Primary vs Secondary means is who processes and pays first. Once the Primary policy has processed a claim it is then submitted to the secondary company who may cover some (or all) of the unpaid medical bills not covered under your Primary policy. Some Primary companies may even be willing to work with the secondary company (this is called claims coordination) which saves the policy holder some extra work (and possibly time) when it comes to the process.

 

One should look at the cost/benefit of any insurance. Also be wary of policies that offer low medical coverage and a much higher med evac benefit. Thinking you can just get evacuated to avoid high medical bills in a foreign country is not good logic. If you are severely injured or sick enough to incur major medical bills it is unlikely that you will even be afforded the option for evacuation. The reality of evacuation is that you must be "fit to travel" and that fitness is determined by the attending physician in conjunction with the insurance company. Also beware that many evacuation policies will evacuate you to the nearest medical facility that meets their standards...which may be to another facility in a foreign country. Consider a cruiser that becomes ill or is severely injured in an third world African country. The trip evacuation insurance may well agree to evacuate them to a nearby European country that has quality care (such as France). This is why many frequent travelers purchase a special evacuation policy from Medjetassist...since it gives the patient more options and rights.

 

Hank

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On 9/28/2018 at 8:46 PM, Hlitner said:

I am not going to bash Travel Guard because they are simply another insurance outfit that offers various plans. However, $15,000 of travel medical is something we would not recommend. That is not nearly enough medical insurance for a young person much less an older citizen. One can easily burn through that much insurance in 1 or 2 days of a major medical situation. The irony is that when you have a serious medical problem it is likely that you cannot even be evacuated and will find yourself in a foreign hospital that you will have to pay before discharge.

 

As to the issue of secondary vs primary (we have posted about this elsewhere) there is no question that Primary coverage is more desirable from a logistic point of view. However, you will pay more money for a comparable primary policy and in the final analysis you are just playing around with the order of claims processing/payment rather then your coverage. All that Primary vs Secondary means is who processes and pays first. Once the Primary policy has processed a claim it is then submitted to the secondary company who may cover some (or all) of the unpaid medical bills not covered under your Primary policy. Some Primary companies may even be willing to work with the secondary company (this is called claims coordination) which saves the policy holder some extra work (and possibly time) when it comes to the process.

 

One should look at the cost/benefit of any insurance. Also be wary of policies that offer low medical coverage and a much higher med evac benefit. Thinking you can just get evacuated to avoid high medical bills in a foreign country is not good logic. If you are severely injured or sick enough to incur major medical bills it is unlikely that you will even be afforded the option for evacuation. The reality of evacuation is that you must be "fit to travel" and that fitness is determined by the attending physician in conjunction with the insurance company. Also beware that many evacuation policies will evacuate you to the nearest medical facility that meets their standards...which may be to another facility in a foreign country. Consider a cruiser that becomes ill or is severely injured in an third world African country. The trip evacuation insurance may well agree to evacuate them to a nearby European country that has quality care (such as France). This is why many frequent travelers purchase a special evacuation policy from Medjetassist...since it gives the patient more options and rights.

 

Hank

In addition we carry $50000 emergency medical any where in the world .Medjetassist  will only transport from one hospital to another hospital not off a cruise ship .  Once in a foreign hospital it has to be medically necessary for medjetassist to move the patient to their USA hospital . Thus ,it is not worth the premium imo

Edited by mcrcruiser

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2 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

In addition we carry $50000 emergency medical any where in the world .Medjetassist  will only transport from one hospital to another hospital not off a cruise ship .  Once in a foreign hospital it has to be medically necessary for medjetassist to move the patient to their USA hospital . Thus ,it is not worth the premium imo

 

No... one of the key advantages of adding MedJetAssist coverage is that it is NOT "medically necessary" to move the inpatient.  If it *was* "medically necessary" for the patient to be moved, then many regular travel insurance policies (and some regular health insurance policies) would cover that.

 

The point of MedJetAssist is that the PATIENT decides to be moved to their choice of hospital (in home country, possibly?).  That does require that the patient be stable enough to be moved, but the move would be, if necessary, in a full air ambulance, with medical staff in attendance throughout.

 

GC

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The Travel Guard policies all will evacuate to the nearest medical facility that can handle a given medical problem.  That's how I understand the policies when I read them.  It won't get one back to the U.S.   So far, we've always insured through Travel Guard and now that we are on Medicare, we also bought MedjetAssist membership in case something awful happens and we want/need to come home to hospital of our choice.

 

However, IIRC, the travel insurance a friend is buying through a cruise booked thru Costco is underwritten by Travel Guard but has med evac coverage just like MedjetAssist. I could have read that policy wrong, so doublecheck that.

Edited by Walfam

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19 hours ago, Walfam said:

The Travel Guard policies all will evacuate to the nearest medical facility that can handle a given medical problem.  That's how I understand the policies when I read them.  It won't get one back to the U.S.   So far, we've always insured through Travel Guard and now that we are on Medicare, we also bought MedjetAssist membership in case something awful happens and we want/need to come home to hospital of our choice.

 

However, IIRC, the travel insurance a friend is buying through a cruise booked thru Costco is underwritten by Travel Guard but has med evac coverage just like MedjetAssist. I could have read that policy wrong, so doublecheck that.

 

I don't know about the Costco travel insurance, so can't speak to that (although we'd be quite interested to learn if they really off a "MedJetAssist" type of evac coverage).

 

But the way you described many regular policies is pretty accurate (allowing for any  specific limitations per policy  terms, etc.), similar to "evacuate to the nearest medical facility that can handle a given medical problem".

 

Here is the potential problem:  Who, exactly, determines whether a particular medical facility "can handle" the medical situation that you/your loved one is experiencing?  There is "handling", and then... there is... "handling" (sorry... I can't express tone of voice here!).  Nowhere do those policies state that you would be taken to a facility that "can handle" the problem in a top world class facility way, or in a way that *you* would be satisfied with...

 

Not everything "needs" top world class facility care, but where would you rather get care, if you are in some rural facility (regardless of country).  And for some of us, we'd much prefer to be back where there are specialists who already know us, although this isn't a concern for everyone.

 

GC

 

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This discussion prompted me to look back at Medjet's Rules & Regulations.  We had coverage with them a couple of years ago when we were on a land trip to southern Africa.

 

The following is from Medjet (https://medjetassist.com/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/standardrr.pdf?sfvrsn=4 )

 

Subject to limitations on services described herein, when a Medjet Member becomes hospitalized as an inpatient due to illness or injury while traveling 150 miles or more from his or her Residence Address as defined herein, Medjet will arrange for medical transportation and repatriation services to the hospital of the Member’s choice in the Member’s Home Country. Affiliate aircraft used for the medical transport of Medjet Members are fully equipped intensive-care aircraft staffed with specially trained medical teams. However, if the Member’s condition permits, the Member will be transported by scheduled commercial airline, while in the care of a Medjet-authorized medical escort.

 

I didn't recall the provision about transporting someone back on a scheduled commercial flight.  Has that always been there?

Edited by RJ2002

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8 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

This discussion prompted me to look back at Medjet's Rules & Regulations.  We had coverage with them a couple of years ago when we were on a land trip to southern Africa.

 

The following is from Medjet (https://medjetassist.com/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/standardrr.pdf?sfvrsn=4 )

 

Subject to limitations on services described herein, when a Medjet Member becomes hospitalized as an inpatient due to illness or injury while traveling 150 miles or more from his or her Residence Address as defined herein, Medjet will arrange for medical transportation and repatriation services to the hospital of the Member’s choice in the Member’s Home Country. Affiliate aircraft used for the medical transport of Medjet Members are fully equipped intensive-care aircraft staffed with specially trained medical teams. However, if the Member’s condition permits, the Member will be transported by scheduled commercial airline, while in the care of a Medjet-authorized medical escort.

 

I didn't recall the provision about transporting someone back on a scheduled commercial flight.  Has that always been there?

 

It's been there as long as we can remember, which is perhaps 4-5 years.

 

Think about it.  IF someone just needs to recline because of sutures or something, or has to extend a broken leg in a cast and remain horizontal, that doesn't really need a full air ambulance.  A flat bed business class seat/bed should suffice quite well, plus you'd have a medical attendant.  My understanding is that the spouse accompanies, but back in coach...

 

And of course, the above assumes that the patient needs to be hospitalized before and after transport.  Otherwise, no need for MedJetAssist at all.

 

GC

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Yes, good reminders that simply having a MedJet Assist membership doesn't necessary guarantee air ambulance service, or even escorted commercial air service.  It is going to depend on one's condition and the determination by the local physician and MedJet staff.  As is frequently mentioned here, purchasers of this membership program should carefully read the R&R's to become familiar with all the details.

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3 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

Yes, good reminders that simply having a MedJet Assist membership doesn't necessary guarantee air ambulance service, or even escorted commercial air service.  It is going to depend on one's condition and the determination by the local physician and MedJet staff.  As is frequently mentioned here, purchasers of this membership program should carefully read the R&R's to become familiar with all the details.

 

Where does MedJetAssist state that one of the possibilities is just to be "sent home alone on a commercial air service" (that is, your lack of "guarantee [of] even escorted commercial air service")?  I don't remember that.  IF one is still in need of inpatient medical care (or MedJetAssist wouldn't get themselves/allow themselves to be involved), then there would be liability issues if there wasn't some sort of medical escort, a problem arose, and there was some sort of adverse outcome.

 

The part that you were concerned about, that you quoted in red, stated specifically, "...in the care of a Medjet-authorized medical escort" .  Was there another "type" of transport mentioned withOUT any medical escort/supervision?  Maybe I missed that, but I'd be surprised due to liability concerns.

 

GC

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GeezerC, you might want to take a look at the R&R's that I linked to previously.  The MedJet Assist medical transport options are either (1)  fully equipped intensive care aircraft staffed with specially trained medical teams, or (2) scheduled commercial airline, while in the care of a Medjet-authorized medical escort.  I don't see anything about being sent home alone on a commercial flight.

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2 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

GeezerC, you might want to take a look at the R&R's that I linked to previously.  The MedJet Assist medical transport options are either (1)  fully equipped intensive care aircraft staffed with specially trained medical teams, or (2) scheduled commercial airline, while in the care of a Medjet-authorized medical escort.  I don't see anything about being sent home alone on a commercial flight.

 

YOU wrote that above, where you stated:  "...MedJet Assist membership doesn't necessary guarantee air ambulance service, or even escorted commercial air service."

 

[Sorry, I'm having trouble making the multi-quote work.  Hadn't tried it yet after all of the changes.]

 

GC

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If you are well enough to fly home commercial without a medical staff member with you than you would probably not qualify for the trip to be paid by MedJet Assist.  It is common for a person to fly on a commercial flight with a nurse or physician in attendance.  Usually that person is in a more comfortable first class seat.  Some airlines can also block off a set of seats and have a patient lying flat for the trip.  Compared to an air ambulance which can cost $50,000 - $250,000 this is more economical for the insurance company.

 

 

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:02 PM, pms4104 said:

I have bought Travel Guard Gold and Platinum plans ... and the medical coverage is primary.

 

Perhaps it depends on your state's insurance regulators, or msybe it's the Silver plan?

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Forums mobile app

We as well use TravelGuard for our cruise insurance....It might be a little more expensive that what the cruise line offers, but it well worth it.  A friend of ours suffered a heart attack on the ship a while back. The cruise line packed their bags and deposited he and his wife in Cozumel  and said "goodbye."  The clinic there tried to extort $3,000 from the wife before they would even turn on the oxygen.  She remembered that they purchased TravelGuard insurance. She called them, and told her not to pay them one single dime, and immediately dispatched a med jet from Miami to pick them up. Our friend was taken to San Antonio hospital for surgery and his wife was put up in a 5 star hotel.  When he was able to travel, the flew them first class back home, where a limo was waiting to take them to their home.  Not one penny was expended by them.  TravelGuard paid the bill in full.  Hense, the reason that we use TravelGuard, and have never booked a cruise without the insurance.  

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18 hours ago, 2flacruisers said:

 . . .  She remembered that they purchased TravelGuard insurance. She called them, and told her not to pay them one single dime, and immediately dispatched a med jet from Miami to pick them up. Our friend was taken to San Antonio hospital for surgery and his wife was put up in a 5 star hotel.  When he was able to travel, the flew them first class back home, where a limo was waiting to take them to their home.  Not one penny was expended by them.  TravelGuard paid the bill in full.  Hense, the reason that we use TravelGuard, and have never booked a cruise without the insurance.  

I wonder if that TG policy was purchased through Costco or similar.  Policies can be customized for various vendors to the point where your friend's TG policy is quite different from our TG policy, which states "nearest adequate medical facility" and nothing about 5-star hotels or limos. 😉

Edited by Walfam

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19 hours ago, 2flacruisers said:

We as well use TravelGuard for our cruise insurance....It might be a little more expensive that what the cruise line offers, but it well worth it.  A friend of ours suffered a heart attack on the ship a while back. The cruise line packed their bags and deposited he and his wife in Cozumel  and said "goodbye."  The clinic there tried to extort $3,000 from the wife before they would even turn on the oxygen.  She remembered that they purchased TravelGuard insurance. She called them, and told her not to pay them one single dime, and immediately dispatched a med jet from Miami to pick them up. Our friend was taken to San Antonio hospital for surgery and his wife was put up in a 5 star hotel.  When he was able to travel, the flew them first class back home, where a limo was waiting to take them to their home.  Not one penny was expended by them.  TravelGuard paid the bill in full.  Hense, the reason that we use TravelGuard, and have never booked a cruise without the insurance.  

 

If one of us "needed oxygen after a diagnosed heart attack", I can't imagine waiting for a medevac jet to arrive some hours later.

I'd have that oxygen on and tubes up the nose so fast... 

... and we'd have paid and gotten reimbursed.

And *then* boarded the jet when it arrived hours later.

 

I've heard too many stories about the attempted extortion to get medical care at various places, but IF it is life-threatening, we'd deal with the financial aspects later.

 

GC

 

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31 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

If one of us "needed oxygen after a diagnosed heart attack", I can't imagine waiting for a medevac jet to arrive some hours later.

I'd have that oxygen on and tubes up the nose so fast... 

... and we'd have paid and gotten reimbursed.

And *then* boarded the jet when it arrived hours later.

 

I've heard too many stories about the attempted extortion to get medical care at various places, but IF it is life-threatening, we'd deal with the financial aspects later.

 

GC

 

I'm not going to beat a dead horse to death, but... the oxygen was not turned on...the wife followed the tube that was in place, and it didn't go anywhere....it was just hanging their by the table he was on....and knowing my friend, I believe this is exactly what happened...someone in the clinic even stole his shoes....

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I'm going with, there are some alternative facts, being tossed around.

TG, yes

Primary, yes

Being asked to pay up front, sure, why not

Shoes stolen, could and has happened anywhere

5* hotel, first class, limo,,,, mehhhhh  maybe? might just be a little hyperbole.

 

I'd even pay upfront for my MIL, let alone spouse.

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We also had a good experience with Travel Guard Gold. Trip insurance is always part of our vacation budget as we both have elderly parents and aren’t so young ourselves lol. Over the years we have spent $$$$$ on it and fortunately never used it until September 2018.

My FIL was 91. He was at the doctor a few days before we left and was considered stable. We left for Rome where we were to spend a few days before our cruise. Long story short my FIL died and we had to get home. I called the Travel Guard emergency number. They dealt with the airline and even called to check on us. 

The process of filing was lengthy. Since we canceled the cruise when we were notified FIL was dying rather than after his death, we needed forms to be completed by the doctor. I thought that was absurd. I still can’t understand why a death certificate wasn’t good enough. They required documentation and credit card statements for all our expenses. I think it was around 30 pages. 

They say you can fax it to them. However, I read that faxes have a way of getting lost so I sent everything certified,return receipt requested and we faxed it. It took about 2 months but we did get paid for all our expenses. We used them again for another trip. 

Here is my take away. Make a folder for each trip. As you pay bills for each thing photocopy the credit card statement and put it in the file. It will save time if you ever need the documentation. Hopefully, you won’t need it and can shred it when you get home. If you have questions, I will try and answer them. 

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On 10/27/2018 at 8:50 PM, GeezerCouple said:

 

No... one of the key advantages of adding MedJetAssist coverage is that it is NOT "medically necessary" to move the inpatient.  If it *was* "medically necessary" for the patient to be moved, then many regular travel insurance policies (and some regular health insurance policies) would cover that.

 

The point of MedJetAssist is that the PATIENT decides to be moved to their choice of hospital (in home country, possibly?).  That does require that the patient be stable enough to be moved, but the move would be, if necessary, in a full air ambulance, with medical staff in attendance throughout.

 

GC

 

If you are more than 150 miles from home, YOU pick where you are evaced to.

 

So if you live on the East Coast and have a medical emergency in CA, you could, theoretically, ask to be med evaced to Thailand. 🙂

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One thing I have posted a number of times in other sections is, you can often buy insurance for everything EXCEPT the cost of the travel.

 

The way I look at it, I have paid for the flights and cruise, etc.  If I miss them, I will not be happy, but it is not an unexpected financial burden.

 

But a medical emergency or med evac or non-medical evac would be a HUGE, unexpected expense.

 

By insuring everything except the trip cost, I typically buy my insurance for around $32 for up to a month (longest I have covered).  And I am not that young.

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